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Cablegate: Gol Official Denounces Transparency International

VZCZCXRO8973
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHTRO #0936 3101127
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 061127Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2803
INFO RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0322
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 3220
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHVT/AMEMBASSY VALLETTA 0217

C O N F I D E N T I A L TRIPOLI 000936

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/MAG

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/6/2017
TAGS: ECON EINV ELAB LY
SUBJECT: GOL OFFICIAL DENOUNCES TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL

REF: 06 TRIPOLI 686

CLASSIFIED BY: Chris Stevens, DCM, Embassy Tripoli, State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1.(C) Summary: At a recent GOL-hosted conference on management, Libya's Minister of Labor-equivalent Matuq Matuq sharply criticized a suggestion by one Libyan participant that international standards be used to measure the level of corruption in Libya, calling instead for Libyans to assess their own system on their own terms. His remarks are indicative of both the pressure Libya's halting reform efforts are putting on some regime insiders and the opposition this inner circle is attempting to muster to block genuine reform. End summary.

2.(U) Deputy Prime Minister-equivalent Dr. Abdulhafid Zlitni hosted the first National Conference on Management Development in Tripoli October 29. Experts from Germany, Austria, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Libya took part in the event, along with the Arab Organization for Management Development and the Egyptian Central Authority for Management Organization.

3.(U) During the first session of the conference, Dr. Abubakr Bayyra, a professor at Benghazi's Garyounis University, presented a paper that touched on management training, modern international indicators and the way forward for the development of Libyan management skills. His recommendations focused on the need for accountability, rule of law, transparency and the will to fight corruption. The paper also offered a strategy to enhance Libya's anti-corruption efforts, focusing on the civil service and reforming the laws and policies that underpin the government system.

4.(U) According to a quasi-independent Libyan website (Libya-AlYoum), long-time Minister of Labor-equivalent Matuq Matuq rose and objected vehemently to the use of international indicators to assess Libya' record of management reform and anti-corruption efforts. He specifically rejected the findings of Transparency International as "unrealistic and unreal". (Note: In its 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index, Transparency International ranked Libya 131st in the world, placing it on par with Iran and slightly better than Syria. End note.) Matuq insisted that the Transparency International report be ignored and called for a special transparency report on Libya written by Libyans, whom he said alone possess the requisite perspective to comment on the local environment. He closed by stating that "no consideration should be given to issues such as corruption and good management, because they are irrelevant and unimportant to Libya".

5.(C) Comment: Matuq's outburst reportedly shocked the conference attendees and prompted speculation as to whether his comments represent GOL policy or only his own views. The highest echelons of GOL leadership, including Moammar al-Qadhafi (reftel) and his oldest son, Seif al-Islam, have frequently spoken publicly about the need to address corruption, albeit with little follow-up action. The exception in terms of follow-up has been the use of corruption charges to punish wealthy insiders who have fallen out of favor with the regime, a practice referred to locally as "the black hand". The Libyan public has viewed calls for anti-corruption efforts with skepticism, in part because the Qadhafi family and its fellow travelers are among the biggest beneficiaries of graft. Nonetheless, Matuq's intervention at the conference and his stature as a long-time crony of the Leader suggest that at least some of Libya's "old guard" feel threatened by the reformist camp and may seek to blunt any anti-corruption efforts. End comment. MILAM 0 11/06/2007 3774 ECON,EINV,ELAB,LY GOL OFFICIAL DENOUNCES TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL At a recent GOL-hosted conference on management, Libya's Minister of Labor-equivalent Matuq Matuq sharply criticized a suggestion by one Libyan participant that international standards be used to measure the level of corruption in Libya, calling instead for Libyans to assess their own system on their own terms. His remarks are indicative of both the pressure Libya's halting reform efforts are putting on some regime insiders and the opposition this inner circle is attempting to muster to block genuine reform.

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